Welcome to Tanegashima (種子島), Japan, a small island located
off the coast of the main island of Kyushu, Japan.
Tanegashima WAS one of the best kept secrets in Japan....even
mainland Japanese residents had little or no knowledge of
this beautiful place. Much has changed over the last few
years though, with the ongoing construction of a military
base on neighboring Mageshima. This has created division
among the Tanegashima locals, with some favoring the
construction, while others voicing strong opposition to the
military presence. Updates about the construction will be
added to this page when relevant.
Even with the military controversy, Tanegashima is still a
fantastic place, with a collection of beautiful beaches like Hamada
Beach (picture), fascinating caves, and a very
diverse flora and fauna. The locals call the island
"surfer's paradise", thanks to fantastic waves much of the
year. The island is also the home of
the Tanegashima Space Center, the site of several JAXA (The
Japan Space Agency) rocket launches each year.
For those of you who are considering coming here for
vacation, or maybe even thinking about moving to the island,
there are a few things you should know. This is a very local
community that is deeply rooted in culture and tradition.
There is a high value placed on morality and a group ethic.
Combine this with the advanced technology of JAXA, and the
constant influx of city folks from other areas of Japan, and
you get quite an eclectic and diverse group of people living
together and trying to work things out. That said, you
should be aware that underlying this beautiful island, is a
place and population trying to survive and move forward.
There are problems, both large and small, all of which will
be discussed on these pages. If you have questions about
Tanegashima, please feel free to contact me via my
Facebook account. You are also welcome to check out my
which has tons of pictures of the island. Looking
forward to meeting you all. Until then.
Howie Hayman and Family....long
time Tanegashima residents
Tanegashima is an elongated island (kinda looks like a peanut) stretching 57.2
km (35.54 mi) from north to south. The island is divided into three sections:
Nishinoomote City to the north, Nakatane Town in the middle, and Minimitane Town
to the south. We lived in Minamitane from 2014-2017 and Nakatane from 2018 to
the present. While we loved living in Minamitane, our stay in Nakatane had
problems from the beginning and continue even today, mainly due to the lack of
good local leadership and the lack of rule enforcement. The ongoing issues will
be discussed here and can also be found on my
Along with owning our home, we also own a 4.5 acre forested mountain in
Nishinoomote. We know a lot about Minimitane and Nakatane, but are still
learning about Nishinoomote. If you plan to visit or move to Tanegashima, I
highly recommend staying in Minimitane which has a very small hometown feeling
and very friendly people. Nishinoomote is a typical small city in Japan and has
good and bad points like any city. Nakatane is definitely not recommended due to
the following issues including, but not limited to: Noise Pollution, Trash
Burning, Beach Trash, and Feral Cats, with the latter three soon to be written
about in detail.
A little bit about the three
communities, Nishinoomote City, Nakatane Town, and
The only city on Tanegashima,
which makes up the northern one third of the island.
A small town which makes up the
middle one third of the island.
A small town which makes up the
southern one third of the island.
Nakatane Town abuse, misuse, and
overuse of the Disaster Prevention Radio System.
Nakatane Town air pollution from
trash burning with no enforcement of regulations.
Nakatane Town beach pollution
garbage and debris with no trash removal plans. Full story coming soon.
Nakatane Town feral cat problem
with no population control programs plans policies measures.
Tanegashima services along with Nishinoomote City, Nakatane Town, and
A bank, post offices, and gas stations located in
Nishinoomote are listed.
A bank, post offices, and gas stations located in Nakatane are listed.
Post offices and gas stations
located in Minamitane are listed.
How to get to, and get around,
Tanegashima. The information is a bit dated but useful.
A guide to a few of the more
popular hotels on the island. Call for room availability.
From recycle shops to 100 yen
stores, you can find pretty much everything you need.
Enjoy a plate of expensive sushi
or some delicious okonomiyaki....Tanegashima has it all.
Destruction of an Island
An ongoing account of the destruction and conversion
of our neighbor island to a U.S. military base. The
construction of the new military base on Mageshima began on
January 12, 2023. Now 2024, and due to numerous delays, the
Japanese government is planning to employ over 6,000
workers, all of whom are being housed in small containers
houses throughout Tanegashima.
The impact of the situation on this island has been
dramatic, and has divided the community. Those who are for
the base, are benefiting financially from the construction,
while those against the base are expressing concerns over
the environment and future noise pollution issues. For an up
to date account of the base construction on Mageshima,
please visit my blog at